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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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New wheels on local streets : Los Altos Police get updated look with 2013 patrol vehicle


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

The Los Altos Police Department’s new Interceptor Utility vehicle serves as a mobile incident command post.

The Los Altos Police Department last week rolled out the newest member of its agency – albeit one on four wheels instead of two feet.

The agency’s new 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Utility began patrolling Los Altos streets May 21. And if the department’s new patrol car looks slightly different to local residents, there’s reason for it.

According to Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis, Ford Motor Co. opted earlier this year to discontinue production of its trademark Crown Victoria police cruisers, which Younis called “legendary” vehicles commonly used by numerous law enforcement agencies across the United States.

“That Crown Victoria was a workhorse for years and years in our profession,” said Younis, whose department received two of its final Crown Victorias earlier this year – before being discontinued – and has a total of nine patrol vehicles in service.

The department opted to move forward with the Ford Police Interceptor Utility – built on the same platform as the Ford Taurus, but with the look of a Ford Explorer. Younis noted that the new utility vehicle is the same one chosen by the California Highway Patrol, which previously used V8 Crown Victorias as well.

Younis added that the new vehicle is the first of its kind for the department in more than cosmetic ways. The new V6 Interceptor Utility comes equipped with a “command package” that allows it to serve as the department’s first mobile incident command post.

The vehicle will also be used for larger in-progress criminal investigations and special events. Among other amenities, the vehicle contains special officer safety equipment and “less-lethal” weaponry, such as beanbag projectiles. The new Interceptor also includes more standard police performance features such as all-wheel drive and a heavy-duty braking system to “meet the demands of police work,” Younis noted.

“For this particular vehicle, it’s critical for us because of the command package we’ve added,” Younis said. “We previously didn’t have a mobile incident command post, so a lot of times the coordination during a multiagency response was done on the hood of someone’s patrol car. … This is really an extra benefit for our organization that we did not have before.”

Younis noted that by choosing the same vehicle as the CHP, the department was able to “piggyback” on the state’s negotiated bid price with Ford and purchase it for approximately $40,000.

“The equipment we put on it and the installation is a part of that (price),” he added.

With the Crown Victoria now a thing of the past, Younis said residents should see more of the new Interceptor Utility vehicles on the road in the coming years. Because of the continual use of its patrol vehicles, the department typically replaces three cars annually.

“These cars are used heavily day and night without much of a break,” Younis noted.

Younis said the department’s next batch of Interceptor Utility patrol vehicles in 2014 will include more standard features typically seen in patrol cars, such as screening partitions for prisoner transport.

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